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The Dark Eye RPG - opinions?

Cosmic Hobo

Madman with a Boxed Set
Validated User
I kind of wish I knew German now, because these sounds like games worth getting a closer look at.
Well, you could start learning German with The Dark Eye... ;)
There’s a couple of free apps you can learn German from: Duolingo and Memrise. Lots of German resources and media online and streaming as well. German radio online, etc. Anyone who’s interested just PM me as this is a tangent.
 

Tom B

Registered User
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Darkurthe Legends? You, sir, seem to be a gentleman and scholar.
Big fan. Probably the most popular long-term campaign I've ever run as well. We had a lot of fun with it. As soon as it went out of print, I snagged a couple more copies, just to be on the safe side. (Coincidentally, it was also the current topic of discussion when I first discovered RPGnet many moons ago.)

HarnMaster - TDE isn't aiming as much at historical recreation, so most of the world would be closer to the isle of Harn than the more mundane rest of world. Both have some Tolkien-ish roots, with the TDE elves having a more unique flavor. HM is more 10th-13th century, whereas Aventuria is closer to 15th-16th century, with some exceptions (like the ubiquitous anachronistic Vikings). Shek-Pvar and TDE mages have some things in common, too, both being quite academic with a guild system and specialist schools.
Rules-wise, there are some similarities, too. You've got skills that are influenced by a few different attributes, no levels and classes and skill-based casting (IIRC HM1 had per-spell-skills, as does TDE). You've got more options in combat with TDE, but it's still attack/parry based.
Interesting. I enjoy playing HarnMaster, but for games that I run, I prefer a bit higher fantasy. Darkurthe Legends, Shadows of Esteren, Artesia. (Although, I have to say the HarnMaster elves are rather different than most fantasy games. How do TDE elves differ?)

Darkurthe Legends - Well, DL is basically a more grimdark Tolkien with the serial numbers filed off. That's not Aventuria. As far as I know, there's no big conflict anymore, no dark lord a-waiting. This used to be even "worse", but then a few of the "big bads" of some classic adventures banded together and tried to get the most infamous sorcerer of olden times back to rule. Several lands were infested by demons, and there were years of rebellion and war in those regions. The decisive battle took place, and it seems the current state of the world/metaplot let's the "dark dominions" stay. No huge dreams of conquest anymore, but useful if the party desires more dark high-fantasy environments than the rest of the world, which can get somewhat pastoral at times.
Rules: Well, again, skills. No build-your-own-spell system, but some ways to modify existing spells.
Don't sell it short. DL had some rather unique aspects to it. We had a Harrow Elf healer who was a fascinating character. What I liked about the setting was it had just enough detail to be coherent, but open enough so I could fill it the detail that best fit my game. The system had some issues, and Colin has made a few starts to re-boot it, but I haven't heard anything in recent years.

You start out reasonably capable, but there are some hard limits on the beginning attribute and skill levels. Skills go from 1 to 18, and as the tests are made on the attributes and you use the skill points if you roll over them, actions are possible with low skills and high ones do matter. Some abilities have prerequisites that you can't have at the start.
In the expanded magic rules, you get additional effects and variants for each spells, also tied to the skill total as a prereq.

A common thread I saw in 4E was people maxing out certain skills after start, like their primary weapon skill or certain spells. Not a big fan of that, so as a GM I would have some ruling about that (like required teachers or time).

As with many skill-based games, escalating costs for skills and gaps during gameplay lead to more breadth for characters. Like everyone getting the required skills to not be a drag on the rest of the party (riding, climbing , stealth etc.)
Not bad. So, there is some advancement after you start, but you start off as capable characters.

Thanks for the info.
 

Alban

Registered User
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Well, you could start learning German with The Dark Eye... ;)
As for myself, as bad as my english skills are, they're far better than if I hadn't read RPG books in english.

One interesting thing about German RPGs is that we don't have a popular fantasy game based on BRP, like e.g. Sweden or France.
Which french game(s) are you referring to ? Nephilim ? Rêve de Dragon ? BaSIC ?
Even of those games (and other non BRP related ones) have been very popular, it's nothing compared to translations of US games like D&D, Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars or Vampire.
 

Spaßwolf

Registered User
Validated User
Regarding Midgard: My Kassel gaming group were big fans of the setting, but they used GURPS as the system while I lived there. I bought a bunch of the setting books, but I never found the time to delve into them at depth.

What's the current status of the system and the setting? Are there any good "overview" books for the setting itself? And what is available as PDFs? I am really leery of buying additional non-PDF books these days except for games I am currently using, but I am far more open to buying new ebooks...
(This post is about german books.)
Midgard is currently in its 5th edition. The core book includes a code for the PDF (and iirc so do the Arkanum and other rule books). I don't think you can get just the PDF. At least I didn't find it in the shop.
Adventures, both old and new, are slowly released as PDFs.
I'm pretty sure they are currently working on the "Weltenband", a setting overview book. No release date yet, as far as I can tell. With their release speed it will probably be less than 10 years, maybe even less than 5.
 

Sosthenes

Oiled Greek Wrestler
Validated User
What did they change with the "Grades" ? As far as I remember they always acted like a limiter on how high you could go with buying stuff with experience then a actual D&D level.
I don't know that much about previous editions, when I was playing in a M4 group, I mostly did what the GM told me, and there might've been house rules.
In M5, you get a minor bonus to defense and spellcasting at some levels, a random small ability increase, your endurance hit points increase and you get some luck points.
Rereading that, me saying that it "doesn't really have levels" was probably a bit premature.

I kind of wish I knew German now, because these sounds like games worth getting a closer look at.
Looking at the international game market, you might be better off learning French.
 

Rulandor

Registered User
Validated User
Rereading that, me saying that it "doesn't really have levels" was probably a bit premature.
The "grades" in Midgard never were comparable with levels. In Midgard, you learn skills individually. After achieving certain thresholds of increased skills, your grade increases and with it some very general and important roll bonusses, for example Defense and Using Magic. Also the "Ausdauerpunkte" (fatigue or stamina points, which measure "light damage", whereas "Lebenspunkte/life points" measure wound damage and never increase).

The game has undergone significant streamlining with the 5th edition. Earlier, each skill had a long list of experience point cost for achieving certain heights of bonus; now skills are grouped thematically. Number of skills has been slashed a bit, also, but for my taste in a rather sensible way.

Core elements have been retained. Success rolls are always d20 + skill bonus, with a result of at least 20 indicating successs. Different circumstances are represented by bonusses or malusses on the roll, but never by changing the universal success number of 20. Easy to grasp.

The 5th edition also has certain metagaming values as options, "Schicksalsgunst" (favored by fortune), where gnomes excel, and "Glück" (good luck), where halflings excel.

One thing I like about the combat system: a successful attack is never completely mitigated. If the defender succeeds with her Defense roll, she takes still "light damage" (fatigue). In this, the adventurer is getting better with experience. If the Defense roll fails, the defender is injured, losing life points (in addition to fatigue). Those never increase.

Defense is, by the way, a Resistance roll. Resistance rolls are, like success rolls, done with d20 + bonus, but do not succeed necessarily with a 20. They have to at least achieve the same (or higher) result than the success roll. This does not only apply to combat, but also to other cases where a skill is pitted against another skill.
 

Zehnseiter

Registered User
Validated User
The game has undergone significant streamlining with the 5th edition. Earlier, each skill had a long list of experience point cost for achieving certain heights of bonus; now skills are grouped thematically. Number of skills has been slashed a bit, also, but for my taste in a rather sensible way.

Core elements have been retained. Success rolls are always d20 + skill bonus, with a result of at least 20 indicating successs. Different circumstances are represented by bonusses or malusses on the roll, but never by changing the universal success number of 20. Easy to grasp.

The 5th edition also has certain metagaming values as options, "Schicksalsgunst" (favored by fortune), where gnomes excel, and "Glück" (good luck), where halflings excel.
Sounds good.

I loved Midgard back then with the two boxed sets (3 Edition ?). I had high hopes for the game after the more streamlined Midgard - Abenteuer 1880 off shot but 4E actively turned me off the game by doing the opposite when it comes to rule complexity.

So it is nice to hear that Midgard 5E finally got more streamlined again. Did they change the super low stamina points for beginning characters ?
That was always annoying.
 

Ysidro

Registered User
Validated User
I haven't played TDE, but this 'murican quickly fell in love with the setting. I also like how it took all my complaints about point buy character creation and solved them.
 
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